NOW Hear This

NOW Hear This: May 17, 2024 Newsletter

Message from National NOW President Christian F. Nunes

 

Greetings Feminists,

 

When the Supreme Court overturned a half-century of nationwide legal protection for abortion in the 2022 Dobbs decision, the Justices ruled that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and it was time to “return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives” in the states.

But what happens when our system of representation in state legislatures is hijacked by big money, special interests and extremists intent on controlling the legislative process through partisan gerrymandering?

 

The Dobbs ruling followed a ruling from 2019 that said the Supreme Court had no role in addressing partisan gerrymandering—where instead of voters picking their political leaders, politicians get to pick their voters by manipulating the boundaries of districts and engaging in blatant voter suppression.

 

Twenty states now ban or restrict abortion—five with no health exception and ten with no rape or incest exception.  But many states with draconian antiabortion laws have strong reproductive-rights supporting majorities.

 

Research performed by Christopher Warshaw, a political scientist at George Washington University looked at what percentage of people in each state support legal abortions found that a majority of the public in about 40 states supports legal abortion rights. 

 

Writing in the Washington Post, Professor Warshaw said:

“The Supreme Court majority says that its decision returns authority to the people and their elected representatives. In many states it is in fact providing politically insulated legislators with the opportunity to enforce antiabortion policies opposed by a majority of their population.

 

“State governments are playing an increasingly influential role in the lives of Americans in a wide range of policy areas. Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, state governments will become even greater forces in shaping the lives of Americans.”

 

The Brennan Center for Justice says,

“There is a straight line from America’s broken systems of democracy to the Supreme Court’s catastrophic majority ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. That’s because both abortion access and systems of civic participation and representation are essential for autonomy and equality.”

 

NOW members know how important it is for Congress to pass legislation that would end partisan gerrymandering and restore true representation to our democracy. 

 

In Solidarity,

Christian 

 

 

If We Win

 

Thanks to indivisible… this chart gives us a reason to get up each morning and keep fighting for our rights, our dignity, our autonomy and our democracy.

 

 

If Trump wins If we win
Reinstate the Muslim ban Overturn Citizens United
Deploy the military against protesters who hurt his fragile ego Restore the Voting Rights Act to put more power back in the hands of the people
Sign a national abortion ban Codify abortion rights to restore and expand access in all 50 states
Mass roundups and deportations of immigrants without due process Finally pass the Dream Act
Take the Justice Department under his control to prosecute critics and rivals Pass binding ethics rules and reform the judiciary to end Supreme Court corruption
Use the power of the federal government to attack critical media outlets and undermine press freedom Ban assault weapons & pass commonsense gun reforms
Attack Mexico Not attack Mexico
Repeal the Affordable Care Act, kicking tens of millions off their insurance Continue lowering drug prices and healthcare costs
Expand tax cuts for the rich Close tax loopholes to ensure ultrarich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes
Impose tariffs that’ll increase costs for working Americans Continue investments in green manufacturing in the USA
Ban life-saving gender affirming care for young people Pass the Equality Act to protect trans rights in all 50 states
Reverse green energy progress in favor of coal and oil  Expand investments in green infrastructure to give every American access to clean air and drinkable water
Close the Department of Education and force a far-right curriculum on schools Fight book bans and restore kids’ freedom to learn
Be a dictator Renew the Child Tax Credit & subsidize childcare for every American

What’s At Stake in 2024?

What Could We Lose in 2024?

What Can You Do?

VOTE!

2023 Scholarship Winners

Contra Costa NOW is pleased to announce the winners of its third annual university scholarships.  The scholarships, for $1000 each, were earmarked for two women of color based on their academic and social-activism accomplishments.

 

Manahil Syeda, 17, is currently a student at Diablo Valley College with a GPA of 3.95, and will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall.  Among her notable activities are developing a curriculum on coding for her fellow students, excelling as a member of the debate and speech team, advocating for students with disabilities, organizing volunteer opportunities for students, and helping young Muslim women, including Afghan refugees, to acclimate to their new environment, all while maintaining a rigorous academic schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Georgina Prado, 31, is attending Contra Costa College with a GPA of 3.4, is currently working as an Emergency Room technician, and plans to become a nurse.  She is also a member of the Emergency Room Safety Committee, where she seeks to improve patient and staff safety standards. She has served as a volunteer with the West Contra Costa Youth Soccer League and a Community Mural Painting project.  In addition to being an ER technician and a student, she is the mother of a young son.

 

NOW On The Record

Juneteenth as a Commemoration and Celebration 

June 15, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – – As the Fourth of July approaches, I urge NOW members to remember that “liberty and justice for all” did not apply to everyone until much later.  June 19th marks the day when federal troops marched into Galveston, Tex. in 1865 to take control and make certain that all enslaved people were freed – two and a half full years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth has had many names over the years: Emancipation Day, Liberation Day, Freedom Day but it wasn’t until 2021 when the day was finally recognized as a federal holiday.  

Juneteenth serves as a day to remember the past, acknowledge the present, and fight for the future. The legacy of slavery persists in both overt and subtle forms with systemic racism being intricately entangled in this country’s criminal justice, education, housing, and healthcare systems in addition to other vital aspects of life. Now more than ever, it is important that in commemorating those that came before us, we do not shy away from the fact that racial injustice is not a relic of the past. Instead, we must actively combat it in its many forms everyday. Attempts to ban Black history and books that educate people on the United States’ dark past must continue to be blocked at every turn as they are constant reminders that the fight continues in the midst of opposition.   

While it is necessary to reckon with the struggles, we cannot be defined by it. We must also celebrate Black resilience and resistance in the face of continued adversity and discrimination. NOW is committed to fighting racial injustice, and we rededicate ourselves to dismantling systems of oppression that exclude and restrict rather than include and protect. I encourage you to join us as we work for equality for all.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the nation’s leading membership-based advocacy group dedicated to defending women’s rights, advancing equality and combating injustice in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Through educating, mobilizing, and convening a vast network of grassroots activists across the country, NOW advocates for national, state and local policies that promote an anti-racist and intersectional feminist agenda. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has been on the frontlines of nearly every major advancement for women’s rights and continues to champion progressive values today. More about NOW’s efforts and resources is available at NOW.org.

In solidarity,
Christian F. Nunes
President

NOW On The Record

Over-the-Counter Contraception is a Necessity 

May 11, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – – In a historic move, an FDA advisory committee of outside experts unanimously voted to approve nonprescriptive contraception for over-the-counter (OTC) use. Sixty-three years since the FDA first approved hormonal birth control medication, this no-prescription birth control pill can vastly expand reproductive justice for all women. 

Nonprescription, over-the-counter contraceptives are safe and have been available in more than 100 countries for years. Once formally approved by the FDA, this decision will provide a critical lifeline to marginalized women living in rural areas, on reservations, and in poverty-impacted communities. With increasing attacks on our reproductive freedoms, this news could not have come at a more critical moment. More than ever, women need better access to resources that empower them to take control of their reproductive decisions moving forward.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the nation’s leading membership-based advocacy group dedicated to defending women’s rights, advancing equality and combating injustice in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Through educating, mobilizing, and convening a vast network of grassroots activists across the country, NOW advocates for national, state and local policies that promote an anti-racist and intersectional feminist agenda. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has been on the frontlines of nearly every major advancement for women’s rights and continues to champion progressive values today. More about NOW’s efforts and resources is available at NOW.org.

In solidarity,
Christian F. Nunes
President

Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Texas Judge – NOW led the Effort to Bring Medication Abortion to the U.S. – Help Us Fight This

THE ISSUE

In less than two weeks, there could well be no access to one of the safest methods of abortion available, medication abortion, now used in a majority of abortions in the U.S.  – and widely used around the world. An anti-abortion organization, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, filed a lawsuit in November demanding that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdraw their approval of medication abortion. The judge has set a briefing deadline for February 24th.

See link below for full details.

Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Texas Judge – NOW led the Effort to Bring Medication Abortion to the U.S. – Help Us Fight This 

Photos for ROE #BansOffOurBodies March at the State Capitol

 

 

 

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

We are at a transformational shift to a new era of gender equality in the United States, with feminist women holding some of the most consequential levers of power. 

Kamala Harris, a Black woman of South Asian descent, is the first woman vice president; for the first time in U.S. history, President Joe Biden has appointed equal numbers of women (now at 48%) to the Cabinet; and the House of Representatives is led by a feminist woman, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and feminists chair some of the most powerful committees including Rep. Maxine Waters of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of the Appropriations Committee and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of the Oversight and Reform Committee. 

There’s no denying that 2021 is going to be an exciting, impactful and critically important year in the long struggle for gender equality.

We Are Heartbroken

NOW Mourns the Loss of Feminist Icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg

WASHINGTON, D.C. – There aren’t sufficient words to describe the depth of sorrow women are feeling at the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We are shattered.  We are broken.  We feel that we have lost more than a dear and admired friend. Our country has lost a feminist champion 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not only a historic Supreme Court Justice, but also a political and cultural icon for the ages, and a feminist legend. She fought for and protected women’s rights every single day.  

NOW recognizes all that she contributed to women and girls, to America, to our world, in terms of equality and possibilitiesNOW’s work is an extension of amazing leaders, amazing women, amazing sheroes, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That she did her work in the face of sexism throughout her life, and while battling cancer in the last chapters of her life, speaks to the power of showing up, of enduring, of advocating no matter what. 

Justice Ginsburg’s spirit, her soul, and her power, will be with us forever. 

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